President of St. Paul Drywall Company Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Wage and Benefit Misappropriation

NOVEMBER 4, 2011

St. Paul, MN – Yesterday, the owner and president of Franklin Drywall, Philip Franklin, was sentenced in federal court after he pled guilty in January of underpaying employees for overtime work and misappropriating funds for employee pension and benefit contributions.

“The importance of this conviction cannot be emphasized enough because it sends a strong message that being in hard times does not justify outright stealing from those who work for you,” said Terry Nelson, business manager/secretary-treasurer of International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 82, the union that represents many of the employees who were underpaid by Franklin in this case.  “This is a company owner who counted on these men being too afraid to lose their jobs, when jobs are scarce right now, to say anything about this wage theft.  What Mr. Franklin didn’t seem to realize is that these men are represented by a union that isn’t afraid to take any company on when its members’ rights are violated.”

As a United States Department of Justice news release reported about yesterday’s sentencing,  “Franklin admitted that in order to evade payments into the pension and benefit funds, he directed employees of Franklin Drywall to falsify time sheets and submit false information to the union pension and benefit funds that materially under-reported the hours worked. Franklin also routinely directed Franklin Drywall administrative employees to report to the pension and benefit funds no more than 40 hours of work per week for any Franklin Drywall union employee, regardless of the number of hours actually worked.”

The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades represents over 2,500 men and women in the Finishing Trades in Minnesota and North Dakota.  Learn more at www.iupat82.org and www.IUPAT.org.

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